‘Saturday Night Live’: Bill Hader Recalled Fred Armisen’s Hilarious Prank on Seth Meyers He Could Only Laugh About Now

Before Seth Meyers had Late Night with Seth Meyers, he had a long run with Saturday Night Live. He was respected for the long hours of hard work that he put in, but some cast members weren’t afraid to pull pranks on him. Actor Bill Hader recalled a time when Fred Armisen would call Meyers in the middle of the night as a prank, which the talk show host can only laugh about retrospectively.

Seth Meyers was the head writer on ‘Saturday Night Live’ while Bill Hader was there

Ex-'Saturday Night Live' head writer Seth Meyers wearing a white-collared shirt
Seth Meyers | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Meyers first joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 2001 at the age of 28. He would stay on the show for a stunning 13 years, making him one of the longest-running cast members to ever star on the show. Meyers is only behind Darrell Hammond and Kenan Thompson, but he would ultimately move on to the next thing as a talk show host. Meyers returned as a host for the sketch show in 2018.

Meanwhile, Hader was working at Saturday Night Live at the same time that Meyers was. He first joined the cast in 2005 at the age of 27 until he left in 2013. Similar to Meyers, he would ultimately return to the show to host twice. After his run on the show, Hader would move into acting in a wide variety of movies, including Superbad and IT: Chapter Two.

Fred Armisen called an exhausted Seth Meyers while he slept and pretended to be on an early morning radio show

In a 2019 interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Hader talked about Saturday Night Live pranks. He recalled how Armisen would pull a prank on Meyers. He joined the cast in 2002 and remained there until 2013. As a result, he had plenty of time to “mess” with his co-stars.

Hader mentioned that Armisen would love to pull a prank on Meyers, who was the head writer at the time. He prefaced that Meyers would work very long hours, but Armisen would ask Hader if he thought their head writer was asleep. Next, he would call Meyers and pretend to be on an early morning radio show.

“So, the bit was that Fred was being interviewed on a radio show, and he gave out your phone number live,” Hader said. “So, he would have you on speaker phone, and you’d hear, ‘Hello?’ He’d be like, ‘Hey! We’re on with Mr. Seth Meyers! How’s it going?’ And then Fred would start apologizing. He’d be like, ‘Seth, I’m so sorry. I am so sorry, I didn’t know they were gonna read it out loud on the air. I gave them your phone number.’”

Hader continued: “And you’re like, ‘Wait, what is going on?’ We would all be dying laughing. Then we’d hang up like, ‘F*** you, Seth!’

Meyers admitted that he can laugh about it now, but he really wasn’t happy at the time it happened.

He frequently pulled pranks on cast members

According to Hader, Armisen would regularly pull pranks behind the scenes of Saturday Night Live, and not only on Meyers. Hader recalled that another bit he would do involved when hosts would send gifts, such as cupcakes, the day after they were on the show.

“I remember Fred would just come in with like a six-pack of Coke, but four of them were missing,” Hader said. “He would be like, ‘Hey guys, look what Steve Martin got us.’”

Additionally, Hader explained that Armisen would mess around when each member of the cast was pitching ideas for sketches. If a real-life tragedy recently took place, he would make co-star Colin Jost feel uncomfortable. Hader gave the fake example of the news that a girl was raised in a basement.

“He’d [Armisen] be like, ‘Hey, did you read the thing about the girl in the basement? I think that’s terrible, but Colin wants to write a piece about it. I don’t why,'” Hader recalled with a laugh.

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